© 2017 Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
International Workingmen's Association Records on Microfilm, 1868-1877
International Workingmen's Association
2 microfilm reels
Forms of Material:
Broadsides (notices), microfilm.
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
Records of a seminal socialist and Communist international labor movement.
Collection material in English
Under the leadership of Karl Marx, this organization was originally based in London. The Association moved to New York in
The International Workingmen's Association (IWA) was organized in London at a mass meeting of European trade unionists in
1864. Karl Marx was elected to the General Council and he organized the International as a propaganda vehicle for
international socialism. Until about 1869 the International concentrated on organizing trade unions. After that the International
became interested in gaining support for itself in the United States. It found support in two rival factions of
American socialists, the followers of Ferdinand Lassalle and the followers of Friedrich Sorge. In 1872 the IWA held a
conference at The Hague, at which the General Council voted to move its headquarters to New York City, thus giving control
the IWA to the Americans, led by Sorge. The IWA was dissolved in 1876, and many of its members then helped to launch the
Workingmen's Party of the United States.
This collection documents the activities of the International Workingmen's Association, especially in the United States.
The records of the General Council (1871-1874) include correspondence (1872-1874) and convention material (1871). Subjects
covered include letters written by Friedrich Sorge regarding Friedrich Engel's financial responsibility for the
International; and the progressively independent behavior of the Swiss, Italian and Spanish federal councils.
The records of the North American Federal Council (1868-1877) include correspondence (1871-1877), convention resolutions and
proceedings (1870-1876), clippings (1870-1873) and broadsides (1871-1876). Topics relate to the Sorge faction of the
federal council, commenting on the varying activities of the local sections and how the contemporary press viewed the
The records of Section 26, Philadelphia (1871-1876) include incoming correspondence, minutes, financial records, membership
records and advertising materials. Subjects included are dissatisfaction that Sorge's Section 1 dominated the federal
council; The Hague conference; and the eight-hour movement in Philadelphia.
The records of Section 1, St. Louis (1870-1877) include correspondence (1870-1877), financial records (1874-1876), and broadsides.
International Workingmen's Association--Archives--Microform catalogs.
State Historical Society of Wisconsin.
Mattern, Carolyn J.
Sorge, Friedrich A. (Friedrich Adolf), 1828-1906